Farmers Forced to Accept Low Compensation for Gauravelli Reservoir in Telangana

Reported by

SeethalakshmiLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

August 20, 2021

Location of Conflict

Gudatipalli village

Karimnagar

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Irrigation Dam

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

389

ha

Starting Year

2015

State

Telangana

Sector

Infrastructure

The Gouravelli reservoir, which was proposed under the Jalayagnam project in 2007, is being built in Husnabad mandal in Karimnagar district. Initially proposed at a capacity of 1.4 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) by late Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhar Reddy, the capacity of the reservoir has been increased to 8.23 tmcft by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the current ruling party. Now, the government requires an additional 1,967.18 acres of land, of which 960 acres are private land, in addition to that already acquired for the old plan. While land acquisition is yet to be complete, the compensation process has not been up to speed with it. In fact, the compensation process for the land acquired for the old plan is still far from complete. The main contention of the affected community is twofold. First, the government has substantially delayed the compensation process and has left the affected farmers high and dry. Second, the compensation prices being offered are much below the market price. On this account, they demand that either the compensation package should be increased to INR 1517 lakh per acre or the affected households should be given houses within a two kilometre radius of Husnabad with the remaining amount paid as per prevailing market rates. The farmers have repeatedly voiced their grievance against the lack of compensation. In August 2015, unhappy with the rehabilitation and resettlement package, they tried to approach the chief minister on his visit to Gudatipalli village but could not meet him. In December 2017, villagers were 536 days into observing a relay fast demanding implementation and adherence to the Land Acquisition Act, 2013, afraid of losing land for a second time. In the same month, a _gram sabha _(Village Assembly) was held, but it was concluded abruptly without sufficiently involving the villagers. The construction work was launched in January 2018 by Irrigation Minister Harish Rao and was followed by the Telangana high court ordering the state government in June 2018 to not displace families before providing them with resettlement and rehabilitation packages. But the order was not followed. In February 2020, the farmers protested again, blocking JCBs and lorries working on site and demanding to be compensated at least before the project was completed. In August 2020, farmers received notices from the government stating that they have to accept INR 8 lakh as compensation, which is less than half the market price. This forced them to file a writ petition before the high court demanding justice.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand for more compensation than promised, Demand for rehabilitation, Demand for promised compensation

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Both

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Grazing Land), Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

1200

Type of investment:

Investment Expected

Year of Estimation

2015

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

  1. Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013

    Section 16 [Preparation of rehabilitation and resettlement scheme by the administrator]; Section 17 [Review of the rehabilitation and resettlement scheme]; Section 18 [approved rehabilitation and resettlement scheme to be made public]; Section 21 [Notice to persons interested]; Section 23 [Enquiry and land acquisition award by collector based on the compensation determined under Section 27]; Section 24(2) [Under this section, if more than 5 years have commenced since the compensation award was made under the 1894 Act, or if compensation has not been paid, land acquisition proceedings shall take place under the 2013 Act.]; Section 25 [Award by collector must be made within 12 months from date of publication of declaration]; Section 26 [Criteria for assessment and determination of market value of land by collector]; Section 27 [Determination of amount of compensation]; Section 28 [Parameters to be considered by collector in determination of award]; Section 31(1) [Rehabilitation and resettlement award for affected families by collector]; Section 38 [Power to take possession of land to be acquired]; Section 77 [Payment of compensation or deposit of same in authority]

  2. Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (Telangana Amendment Act, 2016)

    Section 23A [Award of collector without enquiry in case of agreement of interested persons]; Section 30A [Voluntary acquisition of land]; Section 31A [Payment of lump sum amount by state government]

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people, Delay in compensation, Incorrect estimation of compensation, Violation of LARR Act

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court for the State of Telengana

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Hunger strikes, Blockades

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Irrigation & CAD Department, Revenue Department

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

No

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Telangana Rashtra Samithi

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Seethalakshmi

Reviewed By

Seethalakshmi

Updated By

Seethalakshmi

Edited By

SeethalakshmiLand Conflict Watch
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